In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus Christ said:
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
Above proclamation encapsulates the enormous power that should be seen without surprise in all believers in Christ. But from my close observation of many believers, I have sadly come to the conclusion that they are not even aware of the extraordinary power they possess not to talk of utilizing it. It is for this reason amongst others that I am presenting this write up today to arouse such people so that they can claim what rightly belongs to them. However before proceeding further, let us refresh our memory with some biblical examples of how each sign was demonstrated using Apostle Paul, an exceptional believer as our main reference.
1. Casting out demons. In Acts 16:16-18, Paul and Silas encountered a slave girl who was possessed with the spirit of divination (prediction). She followed them, howling irritatingly for days that they were the servants of God who proclaimed the way of salvation. At a point, Paul got annoyed and cast the demon out of her in the name of Jesus. Like Apostle Paul, every believer has the inalienable power to cast out demons in the name of Jesus.
2. Speaking with new tongues. A well-known instance when this sign was demonstrated can be found in Acts 2:1-4. All believers gathered together in one place and they were in one accord. Then suddenly, there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then, there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Speaking with new tongues is a helpful power that all believers should possess and demonstrate (1 Corinthians 14:2).
3. Taking up serpents. We can see an instance of when this sign was demonstrated by reflecting on Acts Chapters 27 and 28. Apostle Paul was involved in a ship wreck off the Island of Malta on his way to Rome to be tried by Caesar. Thank God no life was lost and he, together with his co-travelers were well treated by the Islanders. As he was warming himself from the fire made for them, he accidentally took up a serpent which fastened itself around his hand and he shook it off into the fire and he was unhurt. If you believe in Christ and you take up a ‘serpent’, do not panic; just shake it off in Jesus name.
4. Drinking deadly things without being hurt. Getting into serious trouble as a result of one’s action or inaction can be likened to ‘drinking something deadly’ figuratively speaking. The good news however is that Jesus Christ is always prepared to deliver such person from being hurt. In Acts 21:1-14, Prophet Agabus, an experienced prophet, warned Apostle Paul against traveling to Jerusalem because he would be imprisoned there. Regrettably, he disregarded the Prophet’s advice and as a result, he suffered intensely. He was arrested, severely beaten and imprisoned but the Lord ensured that he (Apostle Paul) came to no hurt.
5. Laying hands on the sick and their recovery. After the ship wreck mentioned earlier on, Paul and his co-travelers were well treated by the Islanders including a prominent personality called Publius. Paul later discovered that Publius’ father was ill with a fever and dysentery. Without wasting time, he prayed for the man, laid hands on him and guess what? He recovered promptly (Acts 28:1-9). As believers in Jesus Christ, it is our indisputable right to heal the sick through the laying of hands.
At this juncture, let me mention that it is not only Apostle Paul that could demonstrate these signs; all of us including your good self can. How then are you faring? Very well? Congratulations if that is the case with you otherwise you may have to examine yourself more closely. Are you in truth a believer in Christ? Have you accepted him into your life as your personal Lord and Savior? If you haven’t then, do so without delay because that is the starting point. It is after this stage that you can have the guts to demonstrate the signs successfully. Just imagine how hugely beneficial you can suddenly become to the human race. Perhaps you are a genuine believer in Christ but somehow you haven’t been able to demonstrate the signs as you should then, consider exercising more faith. I therefore challenge you as from today to go out in the name of Jesus Christ; cast out demons, speak with new tongue, lay hands on the sick and if along the line you find yourself picking up ‘serpents’ or ‘drinking anything deadly’ you will surely come to no harm. So shall it be in Jesus name. Amen.
Jesus is Lord!